First evaluation of floating microplastics in the Northwestern Adriatic Sea
- 47 Downloads
Plastic pollution in the marine environment is becoming a problem of global concern, and the Mediterranean is believed to be one of the worst affected regional seas. The present study presents data on floating microplastics in the Northwestern Adriatic Sea in order to evaluate the possible contribution of two significant potential sources: the lagoon of Venice and the Po River. Samples were collected in March and April 2014 along two transects located off Pellestrina Island (Venice) and the Po Delta, each consisting of four sampling stations at 0.5, 3, 10, and 20 km from the shoreline. Microplastics were quantified and classified according to their colors and shapes and analyzed by micro-attenuated total reflection-FT-IR. Microplastics were found in all samples, albeit with high spatial and temporal variability. The highest concentrations were observed in March at the offshore station of the Pellestrina transect (10.4 particles m−2) and the two landward stations off the Po Delta (2.1 and 4.3 particles m−2), highlighting the influence of various factors, such as surface circulation and river discharges, in determining specific accumulation patterns. The most common polymers were polyethylene and polypropylene, and most of the particles were secondary microplastics (83.5%). The patchy distribution of microplastics observed in the study area is driven by hydrodynamic and meteorological factors acting on short time scales.
KeywordsFloating microplastics Coastal pollution μATR-FT-IR analysis Northwestern Adriatic Sea
Landsat 8 data are courtesy of the US Geological Survey and the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. Data reprocessing is courtesy of Federica Braga (CNR-ISMAR). We also wish to thank Dr. Mauro Bastianini for providing oceanographic and meteorological data from the “Acqua Alta” oceanographic platform.
This research was carried out with funding from the Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea, under the memoranda of understanding signed in December 2012 between the Ministry and the Italian coastal regions for the implementation of the national Marine Strategy (d. lgs. 190/2010).
- Andrady AL (2015) Plastics in the oceans. In: Andrady AL (ed) Plastics and environmental sustainability, 1st edn. Wiley, pp 295–318Google Scholar
- ARPAV (2012) Dipartimento Regionale per la Sicurezza del Territorio. Sulla ripartizione delle portate del Po tra i vari rami e le bocche a mare del delta: esperienze storiche e nuove indagini all’anno 2011. Relazione n° 02/12, p 44Google Scholar
- CIESIN, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (2012) National aggregates of geospatial data: population, landscape and climate estimates version 3. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, Vol. 3, pp 1–16)Google Scholar
- Delaney E (2016) Report on chemical and product characterization of ALDFG and treatment /recycle options. Technical Report, Life-GHOST Project (12/BIO/IT/000556; http://www.life-ghost.eu/index.php/it)
- Eriksen M, Lebreton LCM, Carson HS, Thiel M, Moore CJ, Borerro JC et al (2014) Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans: more than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea. PLoS One: 1–15Google Scholar
- Franco P, Michelato A (1992) Northern Adriatic sea: oceanography of the basin proper and of the western coastal zone. In: Vollenweider RA, Marchetti R, Viviani R (eds) Marine coastal eutrophication. Sci Total Environ 35–62Google Scholar
- Käppler A, Windrich F, Löder MGJ, Malanin M, Fischer D, Labrenz M et al (2015) Identification of microplastics by FTIR and Raman microscopy: a novel silicon filter substrate opens the important spectral range below 1300 cm−1 for FTIR transmission measurements. Anal Bioanal Chem 407:6791–6801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lacombe H, Gascard JC, Cornella J, Béthoux JP (1981) Response of the Mediterranean to the water and energy fluxes across its surface, on seasonal and interannual scales. Oceanol Acta 4:247–255Google Scholar
- Matsuguma Y, Takada H, Kumata H, Kanke H, Sakurai S, Suzuki T, Itoh M, Okazaki Y, Boonyatumanond R, Zakaria MP, Weerts S, Newman B (2017) Microplastics in sediment cores from Asia and Africa as indicators of temporal trends in plastic pollution. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 73:230–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Plastics Europe (2017) Plastics—the facts 2017—an analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data. https://www.plasticseurope.org/application/files/5715/1717/4180/Plastics_the_facts_2017_FINAL_for_website_one_page.pdf
- UNEP/MAP-Plan Bleu (2009) State of the environment and development in the Mediterranean—2009. UNEP/MAP-Plan Bleu, AthensGoogle Scholar
- Viršek MK, Palatinus A, Špela S, Peterlin M, Horvat P, Kržan A (2016) Protocol for microplastics sampling on the sea surface and sample analysis. J Vis Exp 118:1–9Google Scholar